Sunday, March 05, 2006

For those poor downtrod majority Christians out there...

The time has come for the great migration. Leave everything behind, for your salvation is at hand! Two representatives in Missouri have forwarded for consideration a resolution that would recognize Christianity as the State's Official "Majority" religion. The legislation (House Concurrent Resolution 13) would recognize "a Christian god." Additionally, it would "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs," according to KMOV (the link above). It also recognizes that "a greater power exists," and only Christianity receives what the resolution calls "justified recognition."

Now, Justin Gardner over at Donklephant is the one who did the post where I found this information. He notes that KMOV refers to this as a bill, when in reality, it's a resolution. He points out that resolutions are politically charged, and bear the approval of at least some legislators.

Now the most glaring issue that this seems to present is the Establishment Clause issue. But, perhaps the primary issue should be one simple word: why? Why does Missouri need to introduce this resolution? What possible benefit can it bring? It protects the majority belief at the expense of the minority beliefs, which is painfully contrary to the MO of this country.

This strikes me as very wrong.


English Professor said...

Good grief. Is everything so perfect in MO that the legislature has nothing else to do with its time than introduce resolutions like this? Maybe the good representative could be called upon to go out into his city and feed some hungry, clothe some poor, visit some prisons, etc.

The answer to "why?" is that he's pandering.! said...

Yeah, I can see some potential 1st Amendment litigation coming out of this. But hey, if all the really overzealous Christians, the ones that feel they need to impose their viewpoints on everyone else without respecting others' beliefs & viewpoints, want to head on up to MO and live there, that's fine by me. I don't have any plans to go there if I can help it!

littlegoat said...

Here is the text of the resolution. As you can see from the text, it does not make law. (whew)

Of course, I agree with you that the resolution is absurd, but, you must understand that resolutions, in State government, don't really *do* much of anything (except for resolutions ratifying federal constitutional amendments). Generally, they state some point of view of the body or honor a person or event and are largely ceremonial.

The text of the resolution does nothing aside from state that the members of the Missouri house (or the ones who vote for it if a roll call vote is taken in lieu of a voice vote) believe that voluntary prayer in schools should be allowed (which, really, no one debates anymore. It's given that student-led voluntary prayer is A-OK) and that the public display of Christian religious imagery should not be interpreted as state endorsement of Christianity, but rather as a recognition of all that that religion has contributed to American life, history, laws, and growth.

Do I agree with them about it? Nah. No way. But, usually, a resolution like this is simply a way for a legislative body to say, "Hey! This is how we feel about a specific topic."

Now, whether or not it's troubling that Missouri's house has this opinion is a different question altogether. But, I don't see any legal battles coming out of this, as the resolution doesn't do anything other than reinforce the very accurate notion that our government is somewhat (understatement) xenophobic and downright hostile towards other religious groups and toward the nonreligious.

So, while I don't think it has legal implications, I think it has huge social implications, or rather, it WILL have huge social implications if it passes or if many members sign as cosponsors.

FYI, in case you're all "who the hell is this?" I navigated here through Heatherfeather's page. (:

Steve said...


Thank you for your comments, and especially thanks for linking the text for us.

I hope that you enjoy your trip in the ditch and find your way back often!